Mason Schnaible enjoyed making his first start so much that he went all nine innings and led the shorthanded Marshall A's to an 8-2 win Sunday night in Raymond.
Schnaible pitched to contact and didn't strike out any batters, but he only walked two and scattered eight hits. He also led the team offensively, going 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs.
It was a last-minute decision to have Schnaible start, but it was a decision that clearly paid off.
"We only brought nine guys and it kind of came down to finding out who would be able to throw," Marshall manager Sean Culhane said. "I looked at Mason and asked if he wanted the ball and he said, 'absolutely.'"
It was a needed win for the A's, who had lost four of their previous six games. They are now 12-5 overall and 5-4 in Corn Belt League play.
Schnaible, a Marshall High School grad who plays collegiately at Southwest Minnesota State, didn't have overpowering stuff Sunday, but he had enough to get the job done.
Marshall030 140 000-8 12 1
Raymond000 010 010-2 8 5
M-Mason Schnaible. R-John Sawatzky, Calvin Kosminskas (5), Justin Koenen (5), Zach Nelson (9). WP-Schnaible. LP-Sawatzky. 2B: M-Schnaible; R-Tyler Steen, Koenen.
"He didn't have much of an off-speed pitch, and that comes from not throwing, but he pitched to contact and let our defense work, and they did," Culhane said. "(Raymond) hit a lot of fly balls today, and their park is kind of small so those can be a little iffy, but Mason was effective. He didn't walk a lot of batters and he worked quick, which is nice for his defense on a hot night."
Schnaible also gave the A's a needed boost with his bat. The team is missing one of its top hitters, as Jordon Kontz was lost for the season after breaking his foot in a work accident on July 1. Culhane said Schnaible just missed a grand slam that was about 15 feet foul in Sunday's game, but he still came through with a 2-for-4 performance and drove in three runs.
Zach Olson also had a solid night at the plate for Marshall, collecting three hits and scoring a run. Tanner Neale went 2-for-5 and drove in a run.
The A's begin a big homestand today when they face Willmar at 7:30 p.m. at Legion Field. It will be the first of six home games in six days for the A's.